Sablé Breton is a sort of dough which is half-way between shortbread dough and a cake: It’s soft like a cake but with a light crust and it looks like a shortbread from a distance. It is an excellent base for pies. It can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge. It can also be blind-baked and kept for a couple of days before garnishing it at the very last moment. And the best thing is that you can enjoy it as is, no filling needed. Anyway, you have many reasons to give it a try. Did I mention it was easy to make? Well, now you know.
Sablé Breton ‘s dough tends to spread a bit. So if you want to hold its shape, you may want to bake it in those rings or squares used for shaping and baking. But if you have silicon moulds, it works too. I also saw a Chef baking the dough then cutting it. I prefer to shape it before baking so I don’t nothing goes to waste.
These little tarts are a good addition to a buffet and are definitely crowd pleasers. You can bake the dough and prepare the lemon curd ahead of time. Once your guests are here, you just garnish them and you are in for a treat.
Makes 8 mini-tarts
Prep: 10 min – Resting and cooling time: 2 hours – Baking: 20 min
Dough for Sablé Breton
- 2 egg yolks
- 80 g caster sugar
- 100 g of softened butter
- 115 g of sifted flour
- A good pinch of salt (if you are using semi-salted butter, do not add it)
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- Zest of ½ lemon
- Extra: 20 g of almond powder (my favourite addition)
- Juice (50 g) and zest of a lemon yellow organic
- 25 g sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp of cornstarch
- 40 g butter
- Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Zest of 1 lime
- Pistachios in case you have them, their colour gives a wonderful look to the tarts
- Glazing: I used raspberry jam
Sablé Breton’s dough
Prepare the dough ahead of time and chill it.
Mix flour with baking powder and salt.
In another large bowl, beat egg yolks with the sugar and lemon zest then add the softened butter.
Continue beating the mixture. Fold in the sifted flour and the almond powder.
Form an “abaisse” (slightlt flatten the dough so you can roll it easily later on). Cover with a cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
In the meantime, make the lemon curd.
Lemon curd/ cream
The cream can be also made 1 day ahead. It needs to cool and set.
Mix the zest with sugar to get a lemon scented sugar. Add the cornstarch, the egg. Whisk to blend.
Add the lemon juice and whisk. It will start curdling.
Over medium heat, let the cream come together over a bain-marie while stirring from time to time and continuously when you see the cream thickening. This step will take about 10 min, maybe more. The cream shouldn’t reach the boiling stage.
Put the cream in a cold bowl and dip its bottom in cold water. Let cool. When it’s almost at room temperature, whisk in the soft butter. Cover in contact with a cling film and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Baking and garnishing the tarts
Preheat oven to 160 ° C. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicon mould/sheet.
Roll the dough and shape bearing in mind the thickness shouldn’t be more than 5 mm (this type of
shortbread dough puffs slightly). I’ve cut mine into mini-circles.
Bake the circles about 20 min, into their rings or in silicone moulds to avoid the dough loosing its shape.
Once the shortbread circles are golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool on a rack with their circle/mould/cup. You may remove them and store them once totally cooled or just go ahead and garnish them.
Just a few minutes before serving, spoon some lemon curd/cream over the shortbreads. Glaze some raspberries and/or some strawberries and place them over. Zest a lemon over or sprinkle some crushed pistachios if you have. Just to give it a nice look but also a sort of a twist….